Rapidly Reacting to the Probably Rapid Masahiro Tanaka Fallout

jeff samardzija gatorade showerIn the wake of the market-clearing move by the Yankees to sign Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract (with an opt-out after four years), we’re going to see a number of immediate, and rapid reactions to the news.

Among them:

  • The top tier pitching free agents – Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Ervin Santana – could sign very quickly hereafter. It’s no secret that the market for them ground to a halt while a number of teams waited on Tanaka (and those pitchers, commensurately, waited to see how much he’d get). That doesn’t mean discussions with those pitchers ceased, and it’s quite possible that everyone already knows where things stand with them, pending the Tanaka decision.* In that case, signings could happen within a matter of days. Despite the Cubs’ interest in Tanaka, I don’t expect them to be in on any of these three (older) pitchers (absent an absurd bottoming out of the market for one of them). They stand to decline sooner than Tanaka (meaning their best years could be over before the Cubs are good), they each come with significant performance and/or health question marks, the latter two cost a draft pick, and the Garza/Cubs thing has already been done. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees, who need more pitching than just Tanaka, sign one of those three, by the way.

*Even if the Dodgers and Cubs aren’t in the market for those three names, it takes only one team – like the Yankees – to be involved with those guys for the market to cease during the Tanaka negotiations. The Diamondbacks were also involved in both arenas, as well as, possibly, the Blue Jays. Buster Olney today suggested that the freeze in the starter market may have been unrelated to Tanaka, but that strikes me as poppycock. Put yourself in Matt Garza’s shoes: why in the world would you agree to a deal before knowing how many teams will actually be available to bid on your services? And why would the Yankees sign Garza before they know whether they’re getting Tanaka? The Tanaka decision had a hard-and-fast end date. There was no reason for these pitchers, and the other teams, not to wait.

  • Together with the top tier pitching free agents signing, you’ll also see a break in the mid/lower-tier pitching market, especially as it relates to the Cubs. Although the Cubs do have the pitching necessary to field a five-man rotation, the quality of depth trails off as you get into the 5th/6th/7th starter range. As we’ve seen time and time again, those guys make considerable starts over the course of the year (particularly if there are sell trades). Expect the Cubs to sign another starting pitcher, and the three most connected names we hear are Jason Hammel (my preference), Paul Maholm (not terrible), and Scott Baker (might still be waiting on a big league offer).
  • Get ready for an uptick in Jeff Samardzija trade rumors. Tanaka heading to the Yankees is good for the Samardzija trade market, since they have long been a poor potential trading partner for the Cubs, given the lack of elite, high-level prospects in their system. In other words, Tanaka to the Yankees didn’t take a legitimate potential Samardzija suitor off of the market (so, in that same way, you’re now rooting for the Yankees to sign one of the three remaining top starting pitchers, too). I still think we’ll see the free agent market sort itself out before there’s another wave of credible, serious Samardzija trade rumors. At that point, perhaps we hear rumblings of another run at extension talks (recall, the Cubs and Samardzija still have to work out his 2014 salary, so they’ll be at the table together anyway). I don’t think we can say with certainty that Samardzija will be traded this offseason simply because Tanaka has now decided – that was always coming – but we can say that the rumors will pop up again. From there, if there’s no trade and no extension, Samardzija’s will be an exceedingly hot name come June and July.
  • Those Samardzija trade rumors – the ones coming later this offseason, I mean – will undoubtedly be preceded by David Price trade rumors. I still think it’s a very strong bet that Price is traded this offseason, though the impact to the Cubs here is most likely going to be related to the Samardzija trade market (as opposed to the Cubs going after Price). Still, trade rumors involving an elite talent like Price are always fun to watch. The Dodgers and Mariners seem to make the most sense for Price.
  • The remaining positional free agents will sign eventually, but, unlike the pitching free agents, I don’t see their holdup as entirely related to the market freeze. Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales likely haven’t yet signed because their price tags – relative to talent and draft pick compensation – are too high. I don’t see the Cubs being involved there, either.
  • Oh, and one other piece of fallout? The sky-is-falling crowd will be out in force for a couple weeks, proclaiming the failure to sign Tanaka as an indication of … well … something. I can’t for the life of me figure out what, given that the Cubs were willing to commit $150/$160/$170 million (or whatever) to the right guy when he was available. Given that he wasn’t going to put the Cubs over the top in 2014 anyway, what exactly is the “message” that failing to sign him sends? Sure, it sucks to miss out on young talent, but there are other avenues in 2015, since that’s the year that matters. Take a peak at the free agent starting market for next year, consider the availability of Cubs money, and consider the Cubs’ timeline. The sky is black, but it is still where it always was.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

221 responses to “Rapidly Reacting to the Probably Rapid Masahiro Tanaka Fallout”

  1. Jr 25

    So glad we didn’t spend that money on Tanaka- now the price for Shark goes up- I hope we trade him before Spring Training and not chance him getting hurt before the July 31st trade deadline!

    1. BenRoethig

      We almost have to now. This pushes the timetable back a bit with a lack of impact pitching.

  2. Soda Popinski

    I’m a cubs fan! We gave it a damn good shot! Let’s continue with the rebuild! Puro pa’lante, Theo & Co. You’ve got a great vision!

    1. Soda Popinski

      And this was written in non-sarcastic font.

      1. Soda Popinski

        And this, too.

        1. Cerambam

          What about this?

  3. YourResidentJag

    Well, I don’t know if Price is a strong candidate to get traded. Rays are very competitive with him.

    1. BenRoethig

      Competitive yes, but they don’t have the money to keep him. They develop a player, get the years under control out of them and then trade them for the next batch of prospects. It works because the Rays are excellent at scouting and development.

    2. YourResidentJag

      They’re in a difficult position, though.

  4. hartmtown

    What about Jeff Niemann?

    1. Jon

      31 next month.

      1. hartmtown

        Hammel’s already 31. Niemann’s been pretty decent when healthy. A two or three year deal could make some sense.

  5. Jon

    “Take a peak at the free agent starting market for next year,”

    Then take the top 4 names, and cross them off because there is a good chance they will be extended or traded/extended by this time next year. They are all significantly older than Tananka to boot.

    25 year old pitchers like him, requiring only $$$$, no draft picks, no prospects to give up in trades, well it just doesn’t happen too often.

    This was a major blow.

    1. Ron Swansons Mustache

      Who do you consider the top 4 names? If you consider Bailey to be one of them he will make it to free agency unless he is traded and signs an extension with his new team.

      I hope you’re singing the same tune if Tanaka busts or doesn’t even approach living up to that deal.

    2. JadeBos

      So the Yanks paid 7/175 w an opt out clause after 4. What do you think the Cubs would’ve had to pay? Does 10% more get it done? 187.5? or maybe 200? For an unproven guy with a 90.7mph fastball?

      1. ari gold

        I honestly think the Yankees would have just matched it. At that point, what’s $10M or $15M more over 7 years.

  6. grip

    Now that it’s over I’d like to ask just what the performance of Japanese pitchers has been over here? Obviously, with someone like Tanaka and his 24-0 you’ve got to bet on him but, I’m wondering with our longer season, more travel, strange food and culture,etc. …how have they done (I can only remember DIce-K)?

    1. bbmoney

      Like any other player / FA signing they’ve been hit or miss.

      Darvish, Iwakuma, Nomo and others have succeeded.

      Irabu, Dice-K, and others have largely failed.

      It probably can be a difficult transition for some, pitching every 5 days and cultural changes, but there’s no real trend about pitchers not being able to make the transition.

      1. aaronb

        Dice-K was awesome before injury. Irabu eventually brought back Jake Westbrook in a trade.

  7. Patrick G

    If shark gets traded before his arb settlement, how does that work? The team receiving him would then have to do a hearing? Wouldn’t that somewhat effect his trade partners if he’s requesting a lot more than what he makes now and the receiving team can’t afford what his asking price is? Did that make any sense?

  8. Cornish Heat

    Here’s hoping for another Bottom 4 finish for the Flubs in 2014!! High draft pick!!!

    (I’m actually not being sarcastic, and I just like calling them the Flubs).

  9. ssckelley

    I have to admit I became a big Yankees fan today. A fan of seeing them lose to whoever they are playing against. It would be fun to see the Yankees spend all of this money and end up sitting at home next October.

    1. Voice of Reason

      ssckelley:

      You sound like a little baby.

      I hope the Yankees lose, I became a Yankees fan and a fan of seeing them lose to the other teams… boo hoo hoo.

      Man up, dude.

      1. ssckelley

        images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSDPm7zSyIfsF_yjmTegVmp71J4pTMzz_KpUXBTmBNnlNR8qsRt

        1. Greenroom

          I guess this is “Baby up” ha. very funny picture

    2. Jon

      Or you could see your team sit on a 75 million dollar payroll and lose another 96 games. Either way……

      1. ssckelley

        Yep, at least the Yankees gave me a reason to be a little interested in MLB baseball this summer. Last summer I was more interested in the minor league teams than the big league team.

        Although if the World Series is the Yankees verse the Cardinals (god forbid this happens), I would still want the Yankees to win.

    3. On The Farm

      So I am just curious, if the Cubs get their TV contract done it get back to near the top of league in payroll and start “buying all the players” are you going to be upset? I get everyone hates the Yankees, but hating them because they buy all the good FA, when that is exactly what you hope your team does is pretty hypocritical.

      1. ssckelley

        No, I don’t hate the Yankees and it would be neat if the Cubs were able to spend like them. I just think it would be fun to see the Yankees spend all of that money and not make the playoffs. If signing Tanaka puts them back into the maximum luxary tax penalty (I am still not clear on this) and they do not make the playoffs they are going to look really foolish. With ARod coming off the books for a year, along with a bunch of contracts they have shed this was the perfect opportunity for the Yankees to get under the luxury tax and reset the penalties. IMO, this was a horrible business move if they fail.

        But honestly I cannot ever imagine the Cubs spending like the Yankees do even if they did get the resources (which I highly doubt).

    4. DocPeterWimsey

      Geez, it took this to make you feel like that about the Yankees? (I’ve felt that way about them since, I don’t’ know, 1968?)

  10. itzscott

    As far as Epstein’s strategy in regards to Shark by asking for the moon and waiting it out….

    I think now that the Tanaka log jam has been cleared, the market will now come to the Cubs for Samardzjia and interested teams will increase their offers as a result.

    I’m sure we’ll start hearing the names Archie Bradley, Dylan Bundy, etc again.

    1. Fishin Phil

      My two favorite teams have always been #1) The Cubs and #2) whoever happens to be playing against the Yankees that day.

      1. Fishin Phil

        Oops, meant to reply to ssckelly. Sorry for my bad aim.

        1. itzscott

          You need to sit in a corner with your laptop/iPad and type 100 times “I will not let this happen again” so you’ll learn to pay more attention next time.

    2. Patrick G

      We can hear them, but don’t think they’ll receive them. But I hope your right

  11. hansman

    I REALLY wanted Tanaka and I am incredibly bummed but it isn’t the worst thing in the world to miss out on him, considering the mileage on the arm.

    It will be interesting to see how it all plays out now that we have an insane amount of payroll space, plus the renovations coming on board at a time that the free agency market should be shifting towards younger, and more useful players.

  12. Cubs49

    Gosh I would love to be in a room with Theo & Jed now. What is there plan B ? They undoubtedly had one all along.

    1. Jon

      Plan B is another dumpster dive and 97 losses in 2014.

      1. Cubs49

        While all the moaning and crying over the failure to get Tanaka is going on,we are losing sight of the need to get a difference maker of a hitter to start the season. It’s time to look for a spin off of a few pieces from the farm or else that “97″ loss season you mentioned becomes reality.

        1. Jon

          Difference being, a 25 year old slugger wasn’t available in the FA market., a 25 year old TOR starter was….

          1. ssckelley

            Well the good news is I expect the Cubs to be in on Mike Trout……………in 2018!!!!!!

            1. aaronb

              We can certainly count on them making a valiant effort and finishing 2nd.

        2. brainiac

          the biggest problem is of course that we don’t have any veteran, reliable presence in the lineup or in the middle of the order. this team is in shambles and we’re banking on 20 year olds to be the second coming……someday in the future. one or two will pan out, but they wont win a world series on their own. a brutal situation that was entirely elective.

      2. jp3

        2nd that.

      3. jp3

        2nding Jon’s plan B on dumpster diving

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      This is the sort of thing where there can be no “plan B.” The myth that you can always have some sort of contingency plan is predicated on the falsehood that there are always comparable options. This was a unique case: you land the guy, or you don’t.

  13. itzscott

    No way the Cubs extend Samardzjia….

    You can be pretty sure that Shark & his agent are looking at what Tanaka was able to get and are in the process of adjusting their demands upward.

    1. On The Farm

      Are they adjusting their plans accordingly that Samardzjia is 4 years older? Because that’s kind of a big deal.

      1. itzscott

        Shark & his agent pretty much know they won’t be getting 7 years so the 4 year age difference washes out.

        1. On The Farm

          Really? I think you are wrong. Tanaka has the ability to be a 4+ win pitcher. Samardzija? His best WAR season was 3.0 (fangraphs) and he will be signing his contract for his 30 year old seasons. Hardly getting prime years for a 3 win pitcher, is a good comparison and reason to adjust demands? If Samardzija was a good comparison for Tanaka teams would be throwing their prospects at the Cubs to trade for him. However, his age, the fact that he isn’t a 4 win pitcher, is the reason he is not worth top prospects (like Bradley) or worth $20 million a year.

  14. zivabully

    This blind support is frustrating. The worst part is we don’t really know anything. Do you know how easy it would be for them to leak rumors just to give the fanbase hope and give them a fall back option?

    “Oh but look, we TRIED to sign Tanaka, Sanchez, and Darvish!!!”

    Odds are they knew they had ZERO chance to sign Tanaka or the other two. All they wanted was to point to something about how they have tried. It’s just noise. Brett, how can you keep supporting that?

    1. bbmoney

      People’s insistence that everyone or anyone is offering ‘blind support’ of any move or lack of move is the really frustrating part.

      1. zivabully

        I know it’s possible some aren’t, but don’t most just say “yay, stick to the plan”?

        1. bbmoney

          It’s possible some do.

          But most people give rational thoughts and analysis…for instance Brett’s blog post…..and then people make stupid comments about drinking kool-aid and blindly following. It’s like they have some narrative that they want to follow….

          It sucks the Cubs didn’t sign Tanaka. I wanted them to sign him, I wish they had. I wish the Cubs had matched the offer and he’d picked the Cubs instead of the Yankees. Doesn’t mean I need to overract and call the fact that the Cubs didn’t sign him a disaster and that now the Cubs can’t compete until 2017 or some bogus line like that. And is sure as heck doesn’t mean that because I don’t freak out I’m giving blind allegiance to the FO and saying all is great.

          1. zivabully

            So, rather than seriously critiquing (bashing) the front office, you’re (generally, not you specifically) rationalizing the decision?

            We can rationalize anything about the Cubs. It’s why the saying is “well, there’s always next year”. I guess I see the continue attempts to rationalize things like this as the problem. The fan base needs to send a message to the front office that the continuation of total disregard at the ML level is unacceptable.

            1. bbmoney

              Your position makes it sound like you think anyone that doesn’t agree with your views of the FO doesn’t agree because they are blindly following and /or rationalizing bad moves.

              Which is asinine. And your apparent general dismissal of anyone who seems to disagree with you is disturbing.

              If you think the FO stinks, and you don’t like what they’ve done, that’s just fine. You can make a case and a relatively strong case. But don’t act like anyone who disagrees with you is automatically an idiot who can’t form their own opinions or support their position. Which is what you original post implied about most folks…including Brett apparently.

              1. zivabully

                You’re extrapolating.

                I’m not dismissing you. You’re the only one I’m discussing with. I haven’t posted on any other posts to dismiss anyone. I’m just saying I feel like it’s rationalizing. You’re saying you feel like I’m being asinine and dismissing. OK, that’s fine. But I’m not dismissing you, please don’t think that. If I was dismissing you, I wouldn’t keep responding.

                I wish Brett would be more critical of the offseason (lack of) moves. Because I respect Brett’s opinion and I would like to see visual proof that someone who matters will help to start the revolt against the BS we have watched at the ML level.

            2. cubs2003

              I believe they already have with game attendance(or lack thereof).

    2. brainiac

      just for the record, it’s literally Brett’s job to support the team while giving us a form to voice our opinions. the rosy picture is a must-paint, both because people don’t like to wake up to negative spin on something they love, and because there is always hope in sports.

      that said, people like brainiac are here to paint the pessimistic view. i hate to point out that i’m almost always right about how badly things will turn out. i know it gets in the way of the pleasure of following a team sometimes. show me a good sound logistical infrastructure, a series of calculated and smart steps via trades and signings, and a much less aggressive PR machine, and i’ll change my mind.

      1. hansman

        It is curious that the only folks who hold the belief that Brett is only here to support the team and paint a rosy picture are the folks that think there is no rosy picture to paint.

  15. dreese

    I’ll take Cueto on that list. i wish Shields was younger.

  16. SenorGato

    I find it hilarious how smooth the transition from Poor Cubs/Tom to “well they offered the most money” is for the Cubs. Are they back to poor now?

    1. Jon

      Payroll is at 75~ million give or take. And that includes what they are paying for Soriano. So what is functional payroll, as what’s on the field, low 60 million?

  17. BlameHendry

    Who are we kidding here? All of the elite FA pitchers for next year (like Scherzer) will be locked up with extensions and it will ultimately be as lame of a selection as this year’s class. That’s just the way baseball business has shifted. The only way you’ll ever get a truly elite player on your team from now on is through your farm system or signing a stud from the international market like Tanaka. And Scherzer is going to cost even more than Tanaka, so any hope we’ll get him next offseason is just irrational.

    And I don’t want the Cubs wasting money on Garza, Santana, or Jimenez. Those are pitchers on the wrong side of 30 who only make sense for win-now teams. The only reason Tanaka made sense for the Cubs is that he’s 25 and it would have been a long-term commitment. Both Santana and Jimenez should be an absolute “NO” for the Cubs, their recent success has most likely been a fluke and the chance they continue performing the way they did in 2013 is slim, and then you got the draft pick compensation. Garza would make more sense than either of those two but he’s still best fit on a win-now team.

    Since the Cubs are now that much further away from being competitive I really hope they dump Shark right now for whatever they can get and just pray that there’s a chance to compete come 2018…

    1. Voice of Reason

      Blamehendry:

      So what if there aren’t many top of the rotation starting pitchers available in free agency EVER? The ones that are could be signed by us. We’ll have a lot of money to throw around if we need a #1. AND, there are things called “trades” in baseball. There will be teams looking to dump top of the rotation starters when we’re in need of one. Teams that are looking to trim salary, etc.

      We just need to keep our eye on the ball and keep developing the young talent in the minor leagues. THAT will deliver us the championships that we all crave!

      1. Cubs49

        It’s way early but Beede is a possible draft pick this year, but he projects to a TOR starter. We got to go back to eying pitching vs. position players. Catching is another position we need to be concerned with.

  18. Mr Gonzo

    If the emerging core and highly-toted prospects can provide signs of life in the offense this season, FA pitchers may have more desire to sign next off-season knowing they will get run support. I predict at least one or two of the top FA pitchers make it to market next season, especially if they are paying attention to this year’s contracts. Like Spud Webb in the paint, here’s hoping for a rebound…

    1. BlameHendry

      And even if 1 or 2 of those elite pitchers make it to free agency, what makes you think the Cubs will outbid the Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, and Mariners in 2015? If they aren’t willing to outbid them now, they wont outbid the large market teams next year either, especially for pitchers considerably older than 25 with no draft pick compensation.

      1. Jon

        It’s not so much being outbid, if the money is close, and the Cubs coming off another 95+ loss season, why would those players chose the Cubs over the Dodgers, Yankees, Angels, etc….

        Theo’s powerpoint about how all the great prospects will be here in 2017?

        1. Justin

          Well, the Cubs very well could have the top bid to them, but then they would become Anibal Sanchez’d so the players preferred option would up their bid…

      2. Mr Gonzo

        Well, we might as well just give up now then! That’s a dangerous staircase of pessimism to stumble down each day. One that leads to following another team… but I understand your point. What makes me think we can land a quality FA pitcher next season is this:

        The Tanaka bidding process shows that the FO can and will bid with the big boys when it makes sense, and force teams like the NYY to dig deep into their colon for dirty money. It also appears that new TV money is helping drive some big signings, if the Cubs get a TV deal locked up, then outbidding NYY, LAD can possibly happen. Will it? We don’t know. Do any of next year’s FA pitchers make as much sense as Tanaka, in terms of age? No, but Scherzer or Masterson could look good in Cubbie blue for a couple of years. I just continue to sleep on the other side of the pillow as the pitchfork wielders making their run through the comments section today. To each their own. Next round is on me.

  19. Blackhawks1963

    I’m good with the Cubs not getting Tanaka. That money is REAL big, plus I don’t think he ever intended to play for the Cubs in the first place.

    While there is a nice crop of pitchers who are slated to become free agents next offseason (e.g., Bailey, Shields) the chances are very likely that some or most of those guys sign new contracts before hitting the open market.

    I can live with the following rotation for now…Samardzija, Wood, Jackson, Arrieta, Grimm….with Rusin and Hendricks serving as depth at Triple A. Not awful.

    1. Jon

      Shields will be 33 next year, oh boy oh boy, I would just love to hand him a 5 year deal.

      1. Blackhawks1963

        Chances are the Royals trade Shields to a contender at the deadline unless they are in the playoff chase.

        We can’t get excited about next winter’s projected free agents…invariably, a lot of these guys will sign beforehand. In fact, Cincinnati and Homer Bailey are talking right now.

  20. barnes60118

    The message is clear. The Cubs will stink in 2014. The chances of getting the #1 draft pick in 2015 look very good.

    1. Voice of Reason

      barnes60118:

      Truer words were never written.

      1. ssckelley

        Awwww suck it up you big weenie!

        :D

      2. Steve

        Barnes, if we are already talking draft excitement in 2015, and we haven’t even had the 2014 draft….I had better get my Sandberg , Moreland, and Harry Carry pics out and do some Cub fan re seeding.
        This is enough to challenge even the most die hard fan.

    2. Cubs49

      Astro’s likely hold that pick IMO. Twins could have, but a patch job on starting pitching still makes them a top 5 pick in the draft,along with the Cubs,White Sox and maybe the Marlins.

  21. Vic

    Trade Shark for some young arms. Keep filling the system with potential. Supplement with FA’s when the kids are ready.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Yep.

      1. Blackhawks1963

        Call Arizona and ask one more time for Archie Bradley. I assume they hang up the phone, but you never know. They might really want Samardzija at this point.

        1. YourResidentJag

          No, get Toronto on board for Sanchez or Sanchez and Stroman. I really doubt they’ll get Garza, Jiminez, or Santana. I see two of these guys going to both LA markets.

        2. Cubs49

          Plus a top 10 from the farm,maybe even a guy like a Soler or an Alcantera.

  22. brainiac

    the difficult thing we have to face is that “the plan” has sabotaged the team’s reputation with free agents. we’re not seen as a trustworthy club to sign with when it comes to dedication to winning. we have no evidence that we’re a good place to play. things are going to get much worse for the next several years.

  23. TanakaWillBeACub

    it isn’t going to matter he will be a cub I am going to trade for him on mlb 14 the show he will be a cub

    1. smackafilieyo

      +1, haha

  24. Senor Cub

    Just glad that saga is over! I never believed Tanaka was the right pitcher for the Cubs for the same reasons that have been posted many times but specifically “unproven” in the MLB. The best thing that came out of this is that we know the Cubs have some money to spend. They should have a $200M to spend for 2015 and that should yield some excellent pitchers then. Not signing Tanaka is not a loss from where I sit, he was not going to make a difference in 2014. Now he’s the Yankees problem, specially if he flames out quickly.

  25. Ron Swansons Mustache

    Some of you realize that even if the Cubs were coming off a 90 win season and gave him a fantastic offer he still might have chosen NY, right?

    This site really needs an ignore feature for certain posters.

    1. ssckelley

      Yep, got that message loud and clear. I believe that Blackhawks guy covered it over and over and over and…………..

    2. Blackhawks1963

      Agreed. I think the Cubs, even with a winning record, would have had a very hard time getting Tanaka to come to Chicago. Theo tried his damndest to get Tanaka…but bottom line, it wasn’t going to happen. The Cubs put their poker chips on the table…lets be clear about this. This wasn’t a half-hearted attempt to get Tanaka.

      Casey Close is sending us a participation ribbon to add to our growing collection. But it is what it is and is not necessarily an indictment of the Theo Strategy. Anibal Sanchez used the Cubs as leverage to stay with Detroit…Yu Darvish went to Texas under the old blind bidding rules…

    3. Jon

      Likewise, this site needs a ignore function for kool aid drinkers and constant FO apologists as well.

      1. mjhurdle

        personally, i feel the site should auto-ignore any post that includes the term ‘kool aid drinkers”

      2. Ron Swansons Mustache

        Because someone doesn’t freak out that we didn’t get a player doesn’t make them a kool-aid drinker.

  26. Voice of Reason

    brainiac:

    do you really believe that the Cubs reputation with free agents is bad because of “the plan”?

    do you really believe that if we offered Cano the $300 million over ten years that he wanted that he wouldn’t have signed with the Cubs?

    do you really believe Choo wouldn’t have signed with the Cubs if we would have given him exactly what he wanted?

    do you really believe that Garza wouldn’t resign with the Cubs if we offered him exactly what he wants right now? Ditto Jimenez or Santana?

    Free agents will come here. We just have to show them the money.

    To say they won’t because we are in a “rebuild” or have a “plan” in place really shows the true depth of your baseball knowledge.

    1. brainiac

      show me one inroad toward improvement on the mlb level that’s empirically verifiable and i’ll be happy to change my tune. maaaybe at the end of next year a minor leaguer comes up and shows promise. otherwise we’re looking at 90+ loss teams for the next 3-5 years with weak free agent markets and a declining allure if top free agents have multiple teams to choose from.

      you’re right about one thing, it’s going to take a 300m contract to attract the biggest stars here over similar teams. this is “the plan” at work.

      1. Ron Swansons Mustache

        90+ loss teams for the next 3 – 5 years, huh? Your handle certainly is ironic.

        1. brainiac

          playing reverse skeptic to skeptics only goes so far, mustache. it’s like answering with a question every time someone asks a question.

    2. ssckelley

      No, generally money is what drives free agents to sign with a team. Tanaka’s situation was an odd one but I think he ended up getting exactly what he wanted, thanks to the Cubs. There is also the occasional situation where a veteran player, who has made his riches, will take less money to sign with a team that has a chance to win. But for the most part money talks and for most free agents ending up in Chicago is not a bad thing. The Cubs do have a little more to offer free agents than just money.

  27. Ron Swansons Mustache

    I love that people think our rebuild is now doomed because we didn’t get a player a majority of them had never heard of at this time a year ago.

    While I am definitely disappointed he is coming to Chicago I am also relieved to a certain extent – that is a HUGE contract for someone unproven at this level.

    We’ll see how his career plays out. Personally I don’t think the Yanks sniff the playoffs this year – they are OLD and going downhill. And for those who say they can buy a World Series whenever they want, when was their last one?

    1. mjhurdle

      “I love that people think our rebuild is now doomed because we didn’t get a player a majority of them had never heard of at this time a year ago.”

      lol, this is so true.

      1. Edwin

        Maybe some of them are just realizing that the rebuild might not happen as soon as they were expecting, and might not be as much of a sure thing as they were hoping.

        1. Justin

          Edwin, you are speaking of me!! Although, I realized this last yr when I figure out just how far away the prospects were, and Castro palying like absolute shit didn’t help anything either.. I really don’t think that the Cubs having a top 5 farm system is that awesome when all of the Cubs resources and everything they’ve done has been done to only improve the farm system for 3 yrs. It seems any front office with a pulse could have pulled this off if that was the only goal.

          1. Edwin

            I’ll give the front office (and even ownership) more credit than that. They spent well to get Baez, and so far both Almora and Bryant are looking like solid picks for the FO. That’s not always such an automatic thing. The Cubs wanted to get a farm system with some impact players, and so far they’ve done a great job at that.

            I think it’s possbile to be happy with a large number of moves that the FO has made, be excited about some of the players they have in the farm system, but be frustrated with the current position the Cubs find themselves in.

            1. Justin

              Yeah, I guess.. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers about what they should do. But their whole situation blows and seems like it’s not getting much better for a few more yrs, and gives me a headache to think about…

    2. Edwin

      When was the Cubs’s?

    3. Kyle

      You don’t want to get into a “who can condescend harder” fight with me, kid :)

      Without Tanaka, we are in the same position we were before: The third or fourth best collection of young talent (including young MLB talent, not just the prospect ranking) in the division.

  28. Kyle

    “Given that he wasn’t going to put the Cubs over the top in 2014 anyway, what exactly is the “message” that failing to sign him sends? ”

    That we have a realistic chance of being the best team in the division in 2015 or 2016. I find it very hard to see a path to that without him.

  29. Big Daddy

    Man, there are some pissy people on here today. I wanted Tanaka, but I knew it probably wasn’t happening. Be patient people and cut Brett some slack.

    1. YourResidentJag

      Who’s blaming Brett? Nice projection on him, though.

  30. Kyle

    I’m looking at the free-agent starting pitcher market for next season, and I’m wondering what on earth you are seeing that I’m not.

    I see a bunch of 3-win pitchers who will be around 30 and cost just as much as Tanaka without getting a single prime year. We’re not going to do that.

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